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beautiful fall

We took our annual Fall walk along the Dosewallips River in the Olympic National Forest.  We go back every year because, well, it’s just so darn gorgeous– as you can see by the first set of photos.  The second set of photos shows us enjoying our usual woods spot (Illahee Preserve), only this time covered in leaves.

pacific beach

Thanks to the brilliant idea of our friend Jessica, we finally made it to Pacific Beach (an ocean “resort” for military members).  I’ve been meaning to go for years, but I guess I needed a kick in the pants to get there.  We rented a “cabin” (an old Navy base house) near the ocean for the weekend and spent our time taking walks to and from the beach, bowling at the bowling alley, eating at the cafe, and mostly just hanging out together.  Their sweet girls adore Ashton and Cedar, and Matt too (I don’t think I’m quite as fun as the rest of my family!).  I’m thankful we finally visited the “real” ocean while in Washington.

california time

The kids and I took a quick trip to California at the end of September.  We celebrated Kevin’s life, reunited with my half-siblings, and enjoyed a few days with grandparents.  Grandpa had the kids jumping with him into the cold pool at 8am every morning (and then again in the afternoons), we visited Apple Hill for some treats, and the kids had fun playing with the new kitten, Freya.

comings and goings

The beginning of fall brought homeschool learning, including art projects, tie-dying, independent learning with presentations, a new daily schedule, and more.  We enjoyed the last of the warm days with hiking, woods time, a trip with friends to Guillemot Cove, and family fire pit time.  Jessica is now in two choirs and spends hours each week learning songs and attending practices.  Cedar met famous author Cressida Cowell and got a signed book, and Ashton said a sad farewell to her best friend, Leia, who moved away.

montana adventuring

What a trip!  The kids and I journeyed to Montana… and found Kalispell (and all of Washington, Idaho and western Montana) full of thick smoke.  We enjoyed our family anyway with swimming, fishing, hiking, mud, playing games, helping the Browns move into their new house, eating at Hu Hut, and spending some time with Alan and Sarah, too.  Then we left the smoke behind to join Eric and Vivien at a cabin in Ennis, outside Bozeman.  We enjoyed the quiet beauty of the mountains and plains (and the blue, not-too smoky sky), went to a history museum and Bozeman Hot Springs, ziplined and whitewater rafted, and spent a day visiting our much-missed Burton friends and Christina, too.  What amazing memories we made in Montana!

point no point

The kids and I took one last trip to Point no Point beach with our Burton friends.  Havilah and I were both feeling a bit ashamed that the last time we’d both gone to Point no Point was when we went together, last spring.  Such a beautiful beach and for some reason life keeps us busy in one way or another… and we put the beach aside.  Darn life.  Because that sandy, driftwood covered shore next to soft blue water with schools of fish shooting by and eagles soaring overhead…. well, it is just amazing.  We spent all afternoon there and even missed dinner while the kids played, moms talked, and I took a few pretty water photos.  We sure will miss our beach friends.